Interview with Daniel Fox, 6 April 2000
Level: Category
Sound Archive
Level: Fonds
Level: Series
Essex Folk Movement Oral History Project
Level: Sub-Series
Scope and Content:
Daniel Fox [DF] interviewed by Sue Cubbin [SC] in Thaxted on 6 April 2000. DF talks about his early life and family links to English folk dance, his involvement with Thaxted Morris, and being squire of both Thaxted Morris and the Morris Ring.

Tape 1 Side A

[00:00:00] DF talks about his family; their origins in North Devon; music in the family; his father's position on the national executive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS); attending English folk dance summer camp; country, Playford and barn dancing; the normalcy of dancing; his hobbies as a child.
[00:04:10] Moving to London aged 19-20; moving to Debden, north west Essex, in the early 1970s [moved to Thaxted in 1977]; dancing at Thaxted; lack of folk music until moving to Thaxted; church singing, choir, choral parts; reading music, learning by ear; tenor; singing in London churches.
[00:07:36] Getting involved in Thaxted Morris around 1976-77; his knowledge of Morris at the time of joining; the familiarity of Morris tunes; the size and age of Thaxted Morris membership; relationships with members; support from the village; social aspects of Morris dancing; class background of membership; travel to work; Thaxted Morris schedule; first dance, nervousness; costumes; learning the history of Thaxted Morris, Morris sides keeping their own history.
[00:21:42] Relationship between Thaxted Morris and Thaxted Parish Church; the election of a squire; becoming squire in 1984, the need for leadership; the offices of squire, bagman, treasurer and foreman in a Morris side; Thaxted Morris having regular elections.
[00:26:47] The Thaxted Morris programme, in and out of Thaxted, private engagements, international; the age of the eldest dancers at time of interview, members who are not dancers; the 'fool' and the 'beast' in Morris dancing, communication.

Tape 1 Side B

[00:00:00] Dancing with a variety of sides, including non-ring sides; representing Thaxted at the Ring; the history of the Morris Ring; founding sides; the size of the Morris Ring at the time of interview; membership types; insurance; hosting the annual meeting at Thaxted; being elected squire of the Morris Ring; his responsibilities as squire.
[00:07:48] His wife watching him dance Morris; her involvement in country dancing; women's involvement in the Morris Ring and Morris dancing; male-only sides; the differences between the Morris Ring and Morris Federation; how organisations define Morris; types of Morris dancing; his views on women's Morris and mixed dancing.
[00:19:07] Thaxted Morris instruments; the melodeon, pipe and tabor, and bagpipes; competition within a Morris side; group dynamics, tensions, and relationships between members; the squire as a mediator; the relationship between the people of Thaxted and Morris dancing.
[00:27:33] Morris and pub culture, singing; regretting not learning folk instruments; injury during Morris dancing.

Tape 2 Side A

[00:00:00] Ending his term as squire, continuing involvement; Morris Ring and public relations; Morris as integral to English culture; negative perceptions of Morris; promoting Morris dancing and English traditions; the lack of coverage of English folk compared to Irish and Scottish folk; his desire to work with EFDSS to promote folk; Thaxted and positivity towards Morris; the uniqueness of morris in Thaxted.
[00:09:07] His future with Thaxted Morris and association with Morris; country dancing in Thaxted; the lack of negative reactions in Thaxted to Morris; the significance of the Morris tradition, community; Christianity adopting the Morris tradition in Thaxted.
Dates of Creation:
6 April 2000
1 hour 20 minutes 44 seconds
Creator Name:
Sue Cubbin
Admin History:
Daniel Fox (b.1943, Devon) became involved in Thaxted Morris after moving to Essex in the early 1970s. He served as squire of Thaxted Morris from 1984 until 1998, resigning to become squire of the Morris Ring until 2000.
Archivist Note:
Copyright transferred to ESVA
Physical Characteristics:
3 MP3 files [digital copies of original cassettes]
Dates of Description:
26 May 2022
Not Available:
Digital item(s). For access please email ero.enquiry@essex.gov.uk